Shippin' Out March 6-12: Dragon Age II, Pokemon Black & White

BioWare's RPG sequel and Nintendo's twin titles join Torchlight, MLB 11: The Show, and Major League Baseball 2K11 on the release docket.

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The first quarter isn't even over yet, but it has already seen a host of high-profile games hit the market. This week's release docket is particularly full, with a variety of high-profile titles for the role-playing gamer, the sports fan, and Pokemon junkies.

EA is hoping Dragon Age II will cast a spell over gamers this week.
EA is hoping Dragon Age II will cast a spell over gamers this week.

The latter title--or titles--are Pokemon Black and White version. Having already sold over 5 million units in record time, the twin games debuted on March 6, in line with Nintendo's Sunday high-profile releases. The two titles introduce a handful of changes to the established gotta-catch-'em-all formula. Developer Game Freak has expanded the games' online functionality through features such as Global Link, where players can access special content by uploading their save files to a website. Black and White also introduce more than 150 new Pokemon that players can add to their Pokedexes, as well as changing seasons. The two titles are exclusive to the DS.

RPG lovers get a big-name release this week in the form of Dragon Age II from celebrated developer BioWare and Electronic Arts. The game--which is already available in demo form--will see the player transform Blight-survivor Hawke from "a destitute refugee to the revered champion of the land," with new combat mechanics for the game's three archetypal classes. Although Hawke gains fame as the Champion of Kirkwall, the game will peer into his mysterious rise to power over a 10-year period. It will be available for the Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on Tuesday, March 8, which will also see the release of the first two downloadable content packs for the game, The Exiled Prince and The Black Emporium.

Tuesday will also see baseball fans get a choice of two sports sim titles. 2K Sports will release Major League Baseball 2K11--which boasts Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay on the cover--for the Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, Wii, DS, PC, and PlayStation 2. Meanwhile, Sony will release the latest in its acclaimed line of first-party baseballers, MLB 11: The Show, for the PSP, PS3, and PS2. The latter game will see the introduction of pure analog controls and co-op play to the series.

Xbox Live Arcade will see a notable release this week in the form of Torchlight. The action-RPG from Seattle-based developer Runic Games was originally released for the PC in late 2009. The hack & slasher sees players exploring a mine, which leads to a labyrinth of dungeons from ruined civilizations. Players must fight a series of monsters of ever-increasing toughness to discover the source of a magical--but corrupting--mineral called ember.

For further details on the week's games, visit GameSpot's New Releases page. The full list of downloadable games on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later this week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.

SUNDAY, MARCH 6
Pokemon Black Version--DS--Nintendo
Pokemon White Version--DS--Nintendo

MONDAY, MARCH 7
G.G Series: Horizontal Bar--DS--Genterprise
GO Series: Earth Saver--DS--Gamebridge
Heavy Fire: Black Arms--WII---Teyon

TUESDAY, MARCH 8
Atari's Greatest Hits Volume 2--DS--Atari
Beastly Frantic Foto--DS--Storm City Games
Dragon Age II: The Black Emporium--MAC, PC, PS3, X360--Electronic Arts
Dragon Age II: The Exiled Prince--MAC, PC, PS3, X360--Electronic Arts
Dragon Age II--MAC, PC, PS3, X360--Electronic Arts
Major League Baseball 2K11--PS3, PC, PS2, PSP, X360, DS, WII--2K Sports
The $1,000,000 Pyramid--WII--Ubisoft
MLB 11: The Show--PC, PS2, PSP--SCEA
Petz Bunnyz Bunch--DS--Ubisoft
Ship Simulator Extremes: Ferry Pack--PC--Paradox Interactive
The Sims 3: Barnacle Bay--PC--Electronic Arts
Yoostar 2--PS3, X360--Yoostar Entertainment Group

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9
Torchlight--X360--Microsoft Game Studios

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